Laudomia Pucci never envisioned herself at the helm of a fashion empire. As a young woman, she had planned to go into politics. Her plans were quashed, however, when her father, designer Emilio Pucci, insisted she should join the family business. “Back then, when you were born into a traditional Italian family with its own business, you didn’t have the option to choose your own career,” she says. “My father made the decision for me, but I eventually learnt to love fashion. It became my passion, too.”
Laudomia spent two years working with Givenchy founder Hubert de Givenchy before joining Emilio at the fashion house, known for its vibrant, kaleidoscopic prints. At the age of 28, she stepped into the role of CEO to relieve her ailing father, who had founded his eponymous label in 1947.
For 60 years, the headquarters of the brand was the family’s ancestral home in Florence, Palazzo Pucci, which had been in the family since the 1400s when Emilio’s forebears were political advisers to the illustrious Medici family. In 1966 the Arno River flooded the grande dame, wiping out part of the designer’s workshop, and the palazzo suffered further flood damage in the decades that followed until, in 2012, Laudomia decreed that the headquarters would move to the family’s 600-hectare country estate, Villa di Granaiolo.
It took four years to restore the resplendent rural property, which is in the Tuscan town of Castelfiorentino, halfway between Florence and Pisa. “Some of my best childhood memories happened at Granaiolo,” says Laudomia. “I would spend much time lounging by the pool or riding horses with my friends. To renovate it into a space for Pucci as a brand was to give it another dimension.”
At Granaiolo, her father’s original designs, fabrics, sketches and photographs are stored in temperature-controlled rooms. Garments are hung in wooden closets painted with nonacid coats to avoid damage. Aside from being a home to the brand’s archives, Granaiolo is a place for students to learn new skills and experiment with their creativity. The grounds include a Talent Centre, a multipurpose space for training and conducting workshops.
Read the full article in Tatler Homes December 2016 Issue
(Text by MJ Jose, Photo by Wesley Cruz Villarica, Art Direction by Anton San Diego)